Dr. Jinjin Ma was one of eight students to be honorably recognized for exceptional dissertation work and awarded with the Rackham Distinguished Dissertation Award.
At the presentation ceremony, her faculty advisor, Professor Ellen Arruda, introduced Ma as “one of those rare PhD students who comes along once in a professor’s career.”
The ceremony carried on as Ma took her place at the podium, light-heartedly admitting that she was relieved to have received such praise from her professor.
The Dissertation Award acknowledges and rewards doctoral students for remarkably interesting and engaging dissertation work. Professors at the university, who have also served as chairs of dissertation committees, nominate exceptional students whom they feel deserve special recognition.
Ma admires the ME department for allowing her to think outside of the box while developing her research project, encouraging her to combine both mechanical and biomedical engineering. Ma won the award based specifically on her research of “Experimental and Computational Characterizations of Native Ligaments, Tendons, and Engineered 3-D Bone-Ligament-Bone Constructs in the Knee.”
In simpler terms, Ma is developing innovative tissue engineering strategies that can be used to build bone-tissue-bone structures. Tests suggest that such structures can effectively replace damaged ACLs and other interior ligaments.